ATLANTA (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 28 points, including 15 in the final seven minutes of the first half after returning from an ankle injury, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Atlanta Hawks 114-109 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
Curry turned his right ankle and left the game in the first quarter. He returned for his high-scoring second period before returning to the locker room for good in the third. The Warriors said a “tweaked right ankle” was the reason Curry would not return.
Kevin Durant also had 28 points for the Warriors, who are unbeaten since the All-Star break.
Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder, who had 27 points, sank three free throws with 19 seconds remaining to cut Golden State’s lead to 111-109. Durant made only one of two free throws to push the lead to three points, but Andre Iguodala’s steal from Kent Bazemore and layup clinched the win.
Bazemore led the Hawks with 29 points.
Curry hurt his ankle when he stepped on teammate Zaza Pachulia’s foot with about 1:30 remaining in the first period. Curry went to the locker room after the quarter, walking without assistance. He returned to the game with 7:18 remaining in the first half and showed no sign of the injury, scoring the Warriors’ next 11 points — including two 3-pointers and a three-point play.
Curry closed the half with a left-handed layup, giving him 25 points in 18 minutes.
Curry started the second half, added a fourth 3-pointer, and left the game for good midway through the third period. He returned to the locker room.
Schroder closed the third quarter by making a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from near the halfcourt line. It was a good night for improbable shots. A Hawks fan wearing a Kyle Korver jersey sank a halfcourt shot during a timeout.
Atlanta, in contention for the league’s worst record, stayed close with Golden State, which began the night a half-game behind Houston in the race for the league’s best record.
Schroder’s long 3 cut Golden State’s lead to 90-84 entering the final period. Atlanta’s Mike Muscala added another 3 early in the final period, leaving the Warriors with a 92-87 lead. Golden State scored the next nine points but couldn’t keep the lead in double figures.
Warriors: Golden State improved to 22-3 against Eastern Conference teams. The Warriors’ 13-1 road record against the East is the best for a Western Conference team since the 2006-07 Suns were 14-1. … The Warriors had 33 assists on 42 field goals.
Hawks: Atlanta shot 60 percent (12 of 20) from the field in the first period and still trailed 33-31. The Hawks made 15 3-pointers, including five for Taurean Prince, who had 15 points, and Bazemore. … John Collins had 16 points.
Curry sank his 200th 3-point field goal of the season in the first quarter. He is the first player in NBA history with at least 200 3s in six seasons. He has reached the mark in every season since 2012-13.
Warriors: After ending a three-game road trip, Golden State hosts the Nets on Tuesday.
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